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NYSEG Proposes Rate Hikes

By Emily Girsch.
NYSEG and its sister company, Rochester Gas and Electric, are considering raising service rates for New York residents.

If approved, the rate hikes would be effective May 1st.

Customers would pay $5.75 more for electric and $9.57 more for gas by May 2018, when the increase is fully phased in.

"I felt bad for myself but I felt bad for other people especially," said Binghamton resident Marianne Kretz when she heard the news.

"There's a lot of poor people out there and when it gets cold outside they have a really hard time keeping warm so they keep their heat down."

Kretz feels like she was taken advantage of by NYSEG after being given a $793 electricity bill for this month.

"Most older people pay their bills and whether or not they're right or not, they don't question it, they pay it and that's it. That's very scary to me," she said.

Kretz spoke out at tonight's public hearing hosted by NYSEG at City Hall.

In a 300-paged report on their website, NYSEG noted storm restoration costs, low income programs, gas safety and electric reliability measures as some of the reasons for the added costs.

However, several New York residents at the meeting who have switched to fueling their homes with solar or wind power said it's time to move on from fossil fuels altogether.

"Solar and wind is far cheaper for the person using it in the long run than gas is ever going to be," said Joanne Cipola-David of Tompkins County.

Two other NYSEG hearings are scheduled at this time, March 31st in Plattsburgh and April 13th in Brewster.